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"We need you" | Shelby County COVID-19 Joint Task Force urges medical & non-medical volunteers step up

Local help is needed as the task force expects the strain on local hospitals from COVID-19 to continue in weeks ahead.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — "Largely, we are fighting the fight with the people we have here," City of Memphis Chief Operating Office Doug McGowen said.

Those with the Shelby County COVID-19 Joint Task Force aren't sugarcoating the issue. They need for extra, local medical personnel is intensifying.

"The issue is not with facilities - it's with available staffing," McGowen said.

Tuesday, task force members urged Shelby County volunteers sign up with the Tennessee Medical Reserve Corps. It includes a mix of paid and unpaid positions for those with medical or administrative experience.

Unlike at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, traveling nurses from other part of the country are now tapped out, increasing the need for more area assistance - now. 

"That model is not going to work for us now because our entire nation is at a peak, and so we are left with the staff that we have here locally," McGowen said.

The task force predicts there will be staffing strains at local hospitals the next two months.

This, as the first group of local medical personnel are expected to get the first doses of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in the coming weeks.

"At the very beginning of this, we are not going to get a huge amount of vaccine, again, only about to enough to begin inoculating the frontline workers and first responders," McGowen said.

If you are interested in registering or learning more details about the Tennessee Medical Reserve Corps, CLICK HERE.

Responders do not need to have a medical background. Tennessee is calling on all people who may be out of work due to business closures (such as stores and restaurants). To register today, click on one of the buttons below to sign up for the Tennessee Medical Reserve Corps COVID-19 response.

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